Constitutional review, lack of club structure stalling Athletics Association elections

President of the Antigua and Barbuda Athletics Association, Everton Cornelius.
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By Neto Baptiste

The Antigua and Barbuda Athletics Association (ABAA) will not have constitutionally due elections this year.

This is according to president of the organisation, Everton “Mano” Cornelius, who explained that a number of outstanding issues must first be rectified before an electoral congress is held.

“Well there is no talk about that as yet, we had sort of mentioned it in a meeting we had a couple of weeks ago, but there is no final decision made on that as yet. Where the situation is right now there are lots of things we would have to put in place for us to really have an election this year, so I don’t really see it happening,” he said.

“We have our constitution to deal with, we have the registration of the clubs and registration of people and all these different things, all these need to be done,” he added. 

Cornelius, who would be seeking a third term in office said the body’s Constitution is in dire need of review while there are a number of other issues requiring urgent attention.

“We need to look squarely at the responsibility of the clubs and maybe that’s some of the things we need to write into the Constitution. We need to look at adding our coaches to our Constitution in terms of the role they play, and they should probably also form part of our executive, so it’s things like that and other areas we look at. I can’t point all of them out at this time, but those are two of the main things. I cannot put a timeframe on it, but there are about three of us meeting so hopefully we can sit down and discuss some of these things,” he said.

The former athlete however called on clubs to step up to the plate and put their houses in order, adding that their disorganised state is a major hindrance in the further development of the sport.

“Everybody wants to wait until the last moment to do something even if you send letters after letters and remind people they need to do certain things. Some people do respond and others don’t, so at the end of the day, we just have to move on without them one way or the other, but they would run come to your radio station and tell you that Mano bad and Mano don’t like them, and you’d probably encourage them in their foolishness. I think it’s time for us to stand up and look at what is really right for the sport and how we are going to develop the sport and speak honestly to these things,” Cornelius said.

“We know that one of the biggest problems we have in sports is to get these clubs properly organised, they need to be properly structured. Administration can’t run in chaos, so you have to be properly structured, and if you are not properly structured, then you will always have problems,” he added.

Elections are constitutionally due in the first quarter of the year but were held in October of 2016.

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